Sunday, 27 February 2011

Ben Folds. Hammersmith Apollo.

He was only supported by Kate Miller-Heidke, wasn't he?! Such a wonderful night; a big thank you to my friend Amy for offering me her spare ticket.

I've enjoyed Kate's music for years, but never thought i'd have the opportunity to see her perform. She was every bit as good as i'd hoped and then some. Words and Are You F*cking Kidding Me were my favourite songs that she sang; I was really hoping to hear her cover of Toxic, though. She came back on during Ben's set to help him sing You Don't Know Me and From Above.

The only thing that disappointed me about the gig was that Folds didn't fool around a bit more - towards the beginning he invited photographers up on stage to snap him throwing his stool on the piano and jumping off the top of it. He also did a funny walk across the stage and back again, but that was it.

I loved the cover of Ke$ha's Sleazy - genius!! He played quite a lot of older songs towards the end but I think I enjoyed the Lonely Avenue songs the most, especially Picture Window.

A thought.

I don't understand why some people wander around or drink to high heavens during a concert. Seems like madness to me.

Colin Hoult: Enemy Of The World. Soho Theatre.

I think Colin Hoult is brilliant and so are his charcters and so are his songs and so is his supporting cast. I don't know what else to say, really. I'm looking forward to seeing his new creations.

The space didn't suit the show as much as the basement at Leicester Square Theatre.

A thought.

I have no idea what moths eat.

Pappy's New Material Night. New Red Lion Theatre.

A new gig hosted by Pappy's which gives themselves and their stand-up friends an opportunity to try out new material. The guests on this particular evening were Joel Dommett, Joe Wilkinson, Arnab Chanda and Holly Walsh.

I enjoyed myself immensely up until Pappy's started reading their radio pilot which was spoiled by a stupid heckler and the fact that it was getting really late on a school night and I was a long way from West London.

Joel's jokes about getting a bike were ace and I loved how Joe got distracted because of a rug on stage. Arnab needs a little bit more confidence on stage, but his funnies are brilliant - the time I saw him at Clark's at the 100 Club will still be one of my fave sets at a comedy club ever.

Matthew Crosby did a little bit of solo stuff in between the acts. I loved his story about the man we enormous hands - "I can hold you, but in a way, too well".

A thought.

I laughed most at a couple of things that happened before the show/during the interval: 1) Tom Parry walked past Aislinn and I on the way to the New Red Lion Theatre singing loudly to himself and then, when he was was a few paces in front, he slipped on a drain but carried on singing. 2) Ash and I were debating how one would pronounce Isy Suttie's name. Ash said that Isy had said that you pronounce the 'u' in 'Suttie' like you pronounce the 'u' in 'butter' and then I started saying 'butter' in Isy's accent... I guess you had to be there.

Take A Break Tales. Leicester Square Theatre.

This was the 3rd show from Martin White and Danielle Ward as a part of the Ward & White Season at Leicester Square Theatre; a series of short comical plays based on the stories in Take A Break magazine. The plays were voiced by Emma Fryer, Margaret Cabourn-Smith and Neil Edmonds, narrated by Danielle Ward and musically accompanied by Martin White. Sara Pascoe did a short set to kick-start the evening.

The stories were typically Ward and very funny in their own right, but Fryer, Cabourn-Smith and Edmonds made them even more chucklesome. I found myself being completely mesmerized by the comedic talents of Fryer - SHE'S AMAZING.

I do enjoy watching Sara Pascoe and it was great to hear some new material - I particularly liked her joke about how making up a bizarre story these days would lead to accusations of trying to be like Noel Fielding.

A thought.

You know when you're little and you accidentally hold someones hand that you think is your Mum's and then it's not? Does the same thing happen to primates? Does a Lemur accidentally jump on the back of a mother that's not theirs?

I have been watching a lot of BBC's Madagascar recently...

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Paul Foot: Ash In The Attic. Soho Theatre.

I feel awful. Thing is, I let others influence my opinion about Paul Foot without going to see him live myself. I did see him once, at Mark Watson's Last Ever 24 Hour Show, he walked out 5 minutes before the end and I got a bit cross because I thought he was drawing attention to himself when it should have been on those who had contributed to the show. I have one friend who can't even look at him. Why? I don't understand?! He's absolutely brilliant. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. His appearance on Never Mind the Buzzcocks made me want to see Ash in the Attic; best guest EVER.

The space in the Lorenz Auditorium was set up like a young creatives flat which Paul made full use of with hilarious consequences. I liked the use of the piano to sum up the jokes he was about to foretell. His main jokes (which mainly go on for 15 minutes) are about homophobia. Towards the end of the show he read out shorter funnies off handmade palm cards.

The Chortle review says "sometimes this is like watching a doddering old lady who's slightly losing her marbles potter about her kitchen trying to get some tea together, muttering to herself, trying one thing then wandering off and doing something entirely different" and I totally agree. Paul Foot has a stand-up style all of his own and I can't recommend him enough.

A thought.

Jessie J has a very nondescript face.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Mark Watson: Do I Know You? Reading Hexagon.

Having missed Mark Watson's Do I Know You? at the Hammersmith Apollo before Christmas due to a booking error, Aislinn and I decided to make a trip to Reading.

I had an absolutely stonking night! Mark had padded out his hour-long Edinburgh show with old and new material. He told funny story after funny story until my sides ached. I love the little twists at the end of his gags, where you think you can predict what he's going to say and then he twists it ("pull back and reveal"?).

I think the funniest moment was when Mark asked the audience if they were from somewhere far away after a late comer had revealed they'd driven from Wales (an American and a Peruvian piped up) and then said "I forgot about the animal kingdom. A shout out if you're a hippo!". I also liked his joke about Fabio Capello - asking if he'd be England's football manager if his name was Fabian Hat.

We had so much fun that we're considering a trip to Aldershot when Watson tours there in June.

A thought.

Mark Watson's wave is the best wave in the whole entire world.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

ARINFAT. Cavendish Arms.

For a semi-regular gig, this comes around way too fast. This one was a new material night (ARINFAT - A Reasonably Informal Night Featuring Assorted Things) and featured the likes of Henry Paker, Matthew Crosby, James W Smith, Will Howells (and orchestra), Chris Coltrane and Stephen Hill. As always, it was hosted by H Anthony Hildebrand.

I'm very glad I got to witness Will Howells' comedy songs, I have known him for a fare while and have never caught a set. I particularly like Media Gay (even though I was wearing a checkered shirt and black-framed glasses which he totally disses in the song). Will was supported by his orchestra, aka Billy on guitar.

James W Smith (who writes this awesome blog) and Matthew Crosby were favourites. Crosby did a solid 12 minutes of material on Nandos and Smith had an incredible ending which left me feeling equally amazed and horrified - KUDOS.

H Anthony Hildebrand read one-liners from a Chesney Hawkes mug box in between acts. He has a very fine mind as he demonstrates daily on his Twitter account.

A thought.

I have to try harder not be a try-hard.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Feature Spot Gig. The Tabernacle.

What a lovely gig/venue! Doors opened nice and early and the audience took the oppourtunity to eat, drink and chat which created a great atmosphere before the show had even started. Feature Spot are doing some marvelous things of late; check out their website. The line-up consisted of Nick Mohammed as Mr. Swallow, Jonny Sweet, Adam Buxton and compere, Carl Donnelly.

Nick Mohammed and Jonny Sweet did shorter versions of their 2010 Edinburgh Fringe shows and where absolutely OUTSTANDING. I have no idea how they come up with such wonderful dialogue - do they write in character...? My friends and I have so much fun quoting them; bit sad, really. "You know your mate's a legend when you have the police knocking on your door shouting "WHERE'S PIEMAN? WE CAN'T FIND THE INFLATABLE DINGY!". I don't know, but for heavens sake, don't look under the quarter-sized snooker table" is a fave.

Adam Buxton had quite a bit of technical trouble throughout his set which prompted the best heckle when he asked the audience for help: "have you tried turning it off and on again?". A man called Basil saved the day.

Donnelly had no jokes as such, but had me chuckling a way with his audience banter. I love his turn of phrase/delivery/image. The man is mighty cool.

A thought.

If I surround myself with talented people, will their talent rub of on me? Please say yes.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Psister Psycho. Leicester Square Theatre.

The original cast, Martin White, Danielle Ward, Margaret Cabourn-Smith, Anna Crilly and Katy Wix, took a walk down memory lane and performed their 2007 Edinburgh Fringe show, Psister Psycho.

It drew similarities to Gutted in the sense that there was multiple deaths, a love affair, great tunes, a wonderful cast and was packed with dark/warped humour. Each one of the performers got equal stage time and it was treat to see Danielle Ward take centre stage instead of allowing herself to blend into the background.

As it was being performed in the basement at Leicester Square Theatre, the production was semi-staged. As the night went on the cast seemed to get a little bit carried away which i'm certainly not complaining about!

Nobody does characters as well as Colin Hoult and nobody does deadpan better that Anna & Katy. Such a wonderful night. I''m very much looking forward to Take A Break Tales on Monday.

A thought.

My boss doesn't think i'm enthusiastic enough. I like to think i'm "laid back" and "easy going"; enthusiasm would cramp my style.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Just For Laughs Showcase - Sunday. Pleasance Theatre.

Billed: Jarred Christmas as MC. There was no MC. Poor Nick Mohammed had to perform to a cold audience after his name was announced by somebody at the back of the room. Joining Mohammed on the bill were Jessica Ransom, Late Night Gimp Fight, The Penny Dreadfuls, Colin Hoult, The Unexpected Items, Adam Riches and Two Episodes of Mash.

The first half felt really rushed and laughs seemed to be scarce. The Penny Dreadfuls and Colin Hoult kicked off a better second half.

I really liked they way TPDs and two Episodes of Mash gave a brief introduction before launching into their sketches. I've only seen Adam Riches once before and wasn't very impressed; he ended up being one of my faves this time around, though. I think I laughed most at little things that went wrong from Joe Wilkinson initiating the start of a sketch that he and Diane Morgan had just completed and then exclaiming "oh, we just did that one didn't we?" to Humphrey Ker hitting is head on a beam (Adam Riches also fell pray to this beam when he smacked a prop on it).

A thought.

My parents are rather blank individuals. I am a rather blank individual.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Just For Laughs Showcase - Saturday. Pleasance Theatre.

This was fun. So wasn't in the mood for watching comedy, but thoroughly enjoyed myself. Nick Helm, man who's name I can't remember, Ian Smith, Dan Clark, Edward Aczel, Mae Martin, Henry Paker, Nathan Caton, Celia Pacquola, Joe Wilkinson, Dave Hill and Gareth Richards did 8 minute sets in front of a lovely crowd at the Pleasance Theatre in the hopes of being chosen to take part in the Canadian Just For Laughs festival later in the year. It was compered by Stuart Goldsmith.

Henry Paker was absolutely AMAZING. He kind of did observational comedy with a surreal twist - I couldn't breathe for laughing. I'm glad I got to see Ian Smith, Gareth Richards and Dave Hill, whom I like but weren't listed.

A thought.

I bloody love Pleasance Islington.

Lloyd Woolf. Hen & Chickens.

A full show from the marvelous Lloyd Woolf! Get in! It was as wonderful as i'd hoped and packed full of Cowards-style humour.

If you enjoy Lloyd Woolf Says or find his Twitter feed amusing or like his YouTube channel or went to his Weather Party or love this episode of The Caravan, you're going to adore this show. Or, you know, just enjoying good, original comedy would do. Packed full of videos, pictures, facts, competitions, audience participation and dogs.

I'm assuming the show is going up to Edinburgh, and I can't recommend it enough. Here's a teaser.

A thought.

I wish Ronnie Huq eats dog on Channel 4 by 2015 - I need to win a bet, innit.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Gutted. Leicester Square Theatre.

Great book, wonderful music and incredible cast. Martin White, Danielle Ward et al, take a bow! I'd seen the show at Lowdown at the Albany, Riverside Studios and the Assembly Hall and have to say that the Main House at Leicester Square Theatre was by far the best venue for this wonderful production. The cast and musicians were in black tie and it was performed Les Mis-style.

I really had forgotten how funny the book was; there weren't many moments when I was laughing. The songs are so catchy and i've been humming them all week. Apparently there was a recording and I can't wait to get my paddles on a copy. Kudos to Colin Hoult and Michael Legge who delivered outstanding performances. I mean, they were all bloody good, but Hoult and Legge were above and beyond. A special mention to Isy Suttie who stepped into the role of Sorrow for the night and made the part her very own. Everyone in the room seemed to be enjoying themselves no end, myself (and performers - especially Margaret Cabourn-Smith) included.

There was a Q&A with Robin Ince after the show which felt a wee bit awkward at times. It was good to hear some inside information about the show, though.

I hope this isn't the end for Gutted.

If you like reading well written reviews, head over to Theatre Is Life, Film Is Art, TV Is Furniture.

A thought.

When I see someone with a belt over the belt loop, I want to point it out to them. It's as bad as having your fly down in my opinion.

Nick Helm: Keep Hold Of The Gold. Soho Theatre.

I've only seen the genius of Nick Helm live twice, still, he's one of my current favourites. If you haven't seen him, please rectify this immediately. I saw his set on Russell Howard's Good News and laughed until I hurt - I hardly ever laugh at stand-up comedy on television.

The show combines one-liners, songs and peoms. I just love the way Helm can manipulate his audience - he has each one of us by the balls/tits. I want to gush and gush and gush some more, instead i'll link you to an eloquent review on London is Funny (cheating, I know).

Keep Hold Of The Gold really should've been nominated for Best Newcomer at the Fringe.

A thought.

I instantly like anybody that calls me sweetheart.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Magners Glasgow International Comedy Festival. Leicester Square Theatre.

I had no clue what I had booked to see, it seems. Was expecting to see Robin Ince and Josie Long do an hour each. Instead, I saw Arthur Smith, Kevin Eldon, Tony Law, Josie Long, Craig Hill, Miles Jupp, Robin Ince, John Maloney and Richard Herring do 5 minutes each. The gig was compered by Susan Calman and was organised to promote the Glasgow International Comedy Festival.

LOVED Susan Calman (her stage persona is slightly psychotic in an adorable way). I've been meaning to see her for a while as i'd heard such good things and she lived up to the hype. Law, Long and Jupp (swoon!) were my fave comedians on the night. The crowd were pretty drunken for a Tuesday and it all felt a wee bit mainstream.

A thought.

I ate "exotic fruit salad" on a crowded London bus the other night. It amused me.